GAINESVILLE, Fla., July 22 (UPI) -- Florida Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison is facing a charge for allegedly barking at a police dog and resisting arrest in an incident near a nightclub.
Morrison was walking past a hotel next to a nightclub in Gainesville, Fla., where Alachua County sheriff's deputies were investigating an unrelated disturbance Sunday when officers said Morrison approached a patrol car, put his head into an open window and began barking at a police dog.
As the dog began barking back, a deputy allegedly told Morrison to step away from the dog and wait in the front seat of the patrol car while he completed his initial investigation. When the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Morrison became aggressive with the deputy, backup was called, ESPN said.
Morrison, slated to the Gators' starting middle linebacker this year, defended his actions to police saying the dog barked at him first, USA Today reported. He was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.
Gators Coach Will Muschamp said Morrison has been suspended and will miss at least the team's first two games.
It isn't Morrison's first brush with the law this off-season. Five weeks ago, he was charged with battery after allegedly punching a bouncer at a nightclub who refused to reduce his cover charge because he plays for the Gators.
Morrison was put in a diversion program following that incident and was ordered to pay a fine, attend counseling and complete 12 hours of community service.